Site safety management for an Irish construction company in New York; hurler and Gaelic footballer.
Tell us about your Irish background:
“I grew up in north County Dublin, right on the border with Meath, but thankfully our house fell on the blue side of the line. My father is from a small parish in Co. Laois. He emigrated to Chicago in the early sixties where he met my mother and somehow convinced her to move to Ireland and raise a family. They settled in Dublin where my brothers and sisters and I all grew up.
“My second eldest brother and I now live in New York, and my eldest brother lives in Chicago, so I think it's fair to say we all followed in our father's footsteps in emigrating to America.”
What is your day job like?
“I work for an Irish construction company in site safety management and we are currently based on the United Nations HQ project, among other jobs throughout the city.”
You play hurling and football in Gaelic Park. How did you get involved and which sport would you say your prefer?
“Yes, I play football for Tyrone and hurl for Ulster. I grew up playing GAA in Ireland. Again, my father was a major influence. He hurled for his county before leaving for Chicago and always encouraged myself and my brothers when we were young.
“I would have to say I prefer football though, as anyone who has seen me try to hurl will testify!”
Would you ever return to Ireland to live?
“I think it's the main aim of anyone who decides to emigrate, to one day return to the homeland. The Irish have always traveled for one reason or another throughout history, but our roots to home remain strong.
“I can only speak for my generation and with the economic downturn and lack of job opportunities leaving college, I think this current wave of Irish emigration across the world was somewhat enforced. I have friends all over the globe, and while I might not see them from one end of the year to the next, I know from our weekly or monthly chats online that the majority would still be living at home if given the choice.
“Having said all that however, I love living in New York and don't see myself migrating back any time soon.”
What's the best thing about living in New York?
“I love living here. I don't think it's possible to put it down to one 'best' thing. I love what the city has to offer. On any given weekend you can do a million different things. You could live your entire life in New York and not get bored, and if you do, I've got no sympathy for you.
“But if I did have to chose just one thing, it would have to be the steakhouses. They’re the best in the world.”
Are you happy with the Super Bowl result?
“It's funny, two weeks ago I was hoping for a Packers/Colts Super Bowl so choosing between New England and Seattle was like picking the lesser of two evils for me. I suppose when it came down to it though, they are two great teams and whether it was Seattle winning back to back Super Bowls or Brady/Belichick winning their fourth, no matter who won it, it was going to be a great achievement.
“Having said that though, I think the Pats have won enough now, time to give someone else a chance. Go Bears!”
Interview by Debbie McGoldrick